So I’ve been reading libertarian literature lately, which unsurprisingly glorifies the free market as the solution to all of the world’s problems. Some even take this to its extreme and argue that even police and courts should be privatised and replaced with the free market like doctors and dentists. These Libertarians/Anarcho-Capitalists (the water is a bit muddied between them) are quite vague on what would replace the state (like all utopians they spend far more time denouncing the present than describing the future). The general theme is that security would be like insurance, you pay a fee to a company in exchange for protection. This private police would patrol the streets and solve crimes committed against their clients. In order to retain your business, the company will have to provide the best possible service. Competition will keep the companies honest and prevent warlords or gangs from exploiting the opportunity.
However, there is a major problem with this theory. It has never actually happened. Continue reading “Why Anarcho-Capitalist Private Police Would Be A Disaster”
The recent shootings in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut have made many question the role of guns in American society. This is a sharp contrast the Ireland where we have so few guns that even the police are unarmed. To an American this must seem like madness or liberalism run wild, but it actually works very well. In fact it is a policy that is universally supported across the political spectrum and among commentators. Instead of relying on the threat of violence, they rely upon their authority and consent of the people. As a result, the police force is one of the few institutions in Irish society that people still trust and respect. Continue reading “Unarmed Police”
On the 16th of August South African police opened fire on striking miners in Marikana. 112 people were shot, 34 killed and 78 wounded. There were allegations of murder and counter claims of self-defence as well as comparisons to the Apartheid era. Suspiciously, not a single officer was even slightly wounded. Bizarrely the police responded by arresting 270 strikers but not a single police officer. Recent reports claim that most of the victims were shot in the back and far from police lines. It’s looking more and more like we are dealing with a massacre of innocent strikers, a South African Bloody Sunday. Continue reading “Marikana Mine Massacre”